Humanitarian Bazaar | Focus: Producing Documentary Media in Tough Places
Humanitarian Bazaar produces projects focused on how peope survive war and disaster.
humanitarian, aid, humanitarian aid, human rights, peace, peacebuilding, war, disaster, frontline, front line, war music, festival, music festival, conflict mitigation, counter-extremism, cve, countering violence extremism, protection, war survivors, survivors, war survivors advisory, gerstle, daniel gerstle, daniel j gerstle, waayaha cusub, mogadishu, mogadishu music, mogadishu music festival, afghan music, afghan music festival, live from mogadishu, thunder spiral, syrian metal, syrian metal is war, adeso africa, somalia, afghanistan, syria, bosnia, bascarsija, sudan, ukraine
page-template-default,page,page-id-4807,eltd-core-1.0.3,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,borderland-ver-1.8.1, vertical_menu_with_scroll,smooth_scroll,fade_push_text_right,paspartu_enabled,paspartu_on_top_fixed,paspartu_on_bottom_fixed,grid_1300,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-,vc_responsive

HB 5.13- Jake films Dikriyo Abdi. Photo Daniel J Gerstle.

Photo: HB filmmaker Jake Simkin films Somali rapper Dikriyo Abdi in Eastleigh, Kenya. Daniel J Gerstle.


We at Humanitarian Bazaar produced some tough documentary projects which are due out this year, including Live from Mogadishu (feature, 100 minutes, Somalia), Thunder Spiral (feature, 90 minutes, Bosnia & Afghanistan), and Journeys on the Edge (docuseries, 20 minutes x 10 episodes, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Ukraine, South Sudan), as well as the War Survivors Advisory (multi-media training platform). We take you behind the scenes of how we did it, and also discuss award-winning films like The White Helmets and Virunga. Choose your mode and price, and let us know at

Choose your mode and price ===>

A. Online Rapid Course Webinar

$40 = Webinar (2 hours) |  $80 = Webinar+ (2 hrs plus personal call with instructor for personal consultation or to call in to talk to your organization)  |  Free for past HB team.  |  We are currently rewarding donors to our War Survivors Advisory civilian protection project and past HB team members with attendance to our webinars! HB team members of the past can attend online for free. WSA donors who donated $40 or more are invited to choose one webinar as a reward! WSA donors who supported with $80 or more can choose one webinar and also get a direct consultation call with our trainer or a team member for personal advice, solve a question for your career, or call in to give a talk to your class room or organization. Let us know your interest and we will schedule a session with you!  Donate and then let us know which course and your best time frame so we can confirm with the trainer, or you can also plan the webinar first and then donate the day of the webinar session. Let us know at and go here to donate. ===> WSA

B. Full Intensive Training Workshop

$120/person = Weekend Rapid Course with Short Simulation (12 hours, minimum 6 people) or $240/person = Week-Long Intensive Course with Simulation (24 hours, minimum 10 people)  |  Request a full-scale in-person training workshop with practicum at your location! Ask us if there will be a training near you! Sometimes we have a number of people in key places–namely Berlin, Amsterdam, Sarajevo, Nairobi, Istanbul, Kabul, Beirut–who have put in a request and we just wait until we have enough of a group and we can write to you and plan a date, so just let us know your interest at

C. Contract 

$400/day+ transport & lodging for Expert > $150/day+ expenses for local Field Worker/Fixer (depending on location) for Project Implementation, Private Intensive Training, or Field Research. | Hire a trainer, consultant or implementing team to run a full intensive course designed for your organization, or have us build a consulting team on this topic to implement projects with you.

Review Our Curriculum ===>

Part 1  |  Pre-Production

  • Introduction: Video samples from feature documentaries: Live from Mogadishu (produced by Humanitarian Bazaar), To Hell and Back (Danfung Dennis), Virunga (Orlando von Einsedel), Beats of the Antonovs (Hajooj Kuka), and shorts from Hetherington, Vice, The Guardian, and Vox.
  • Pitching concepts, story, and script.
  • Client production, grants, fundraising.
  • Building Core Team & Crew.


Part 2  |  Considering Your Gear

  • Budget: Super cheap vs increasing cost to benefit choices.
  • Camera: DSLRs vs Cinema cameras, manual vs auto options, focus, Aperture, Shutter Speed, Film Speed/ISO, 720/1080/4k/5k, fps, bit rate, pro-res, full frame vs cropped.
  • Camera: Rebel, 70D, 7D, 6D, 5Dm3, C100m2, C300, GH3, GH4, EX1, HVX, A7s, Black Magic, Red, Alexa, Epic, Scarlet, Dragon, Weapon, Raven, Gopro.
  • Lenses: Prime, zoom, wide angle, close up, 14mm<300mm, f/1.8<20.
  • Filters: Neutral density, colors.
  • Audio: Mounted mics, boom, lapels, mixers, H1/ H2/ H4, etc.
  • Computer: Desk vs laptop, Ram 6gb/ 8gb/ 16gb.
  • Data Storage: SD card, hard drive options.
  • Software: Creative Cloud, Premiere, Final Cut, Avid, Powerdirector, codecs.
  • Additional options: LED lights, three point light kit, reflector, gels, HDMI, monitor, tripod options, dollies, shoulder, monitor, Histogram, Zebra, comprehension.


Part 3  |  Production Prep

  • Locations, security and access in tough areas and for local crew and characters.
  • Storytelling with audience in-mind versus with editor in-mind.


Part 4  |  Post-Production

  • Video editing, color correction, soundtrack.
  • Director’s cut versus final cut.
  • Festival submissions.
  • Theatrical versus digital distribution.
  • Corporate versus independent distribution.


Part 5  |  Practical Application

  • With 5D or 70D, practice establishing location and context.
  • Practice filming an interview (single, double, group).
  • Practice filming a walk and talk (pov, single, double).
  • Transfer video to laptop software timeline.
  • Cut samples together into simple short video.

Meet Our Trainer ===>

Daniel J Gerstle  |  Founder & executive director of Humanitarian Bazaar, has served as a filmmaker, humanitarian aid worker, human rights researcher, and war journalist in Africa, West Asia, the Middle East, Caucasus, and the Balkans. More recently, he created Humanitarian Bazaar, formerly known as HELO Media, to produce projects focused on how people survive war and disaster. With Humanitarian Bazaar, he produced the Mogadishu Music Festival (Somalia 2013), Journey of Peace Kenya music festival in Dadaab refugee camp (Kenya 2013), and co-produced the first Afghan rock fest, Sound Central Festival (Afghanistan, 2011). Live from Mogadishu, his first feature length film as director, premieres in summer 2014. Find him at  |

Arrange Your Training ===>

  1. Check here if we already have a webinar or workshop scheduled which you can attend. ===> Training Schedule.
  2. Write us to reserve your space for an existing training or to ask for a training which could be scheduled with you. In the latter case, just let us know what windows of time would work best for you and we will see whether it is best to have others attend together or to have a training personalized for you and/or your organization. ===> 
  3. Right now we are accepting all payments for training as a donation to our War Survivors Advisory civilian protection project, and offering webinars as rewards for such donations, so you can either go right away to donate and let us know that you have done so, or schedule your training and then pay once you are satisfied with the training. The payment/donation button to support the War Survivors Advisory, along with a description of the project, can be found here. ===> Training Payment via War Survivors Advisory.